How to Watch
When/Where: 1 p.m. EST/The Pavilion, Villanova, PA
TV: CBS Sports Network
Streaming: CBS Sports
Radio: 610 Sports (WTEL-AM)
Bets are On
Villanova is favored by -20.5, according to OddsShark.
The second game in Villanova’s “Big 5” schedule is arguably one of ‘Nova’s biggest rivalries: The dubbed “Holy War” against St. Joseph’s. Despite being separated by a couple of miles on Lancaster Avenue, the Holy War brings big beef between the Philadelphia schools.
The most recent St. Joseph’s Holy War victory came in 2011, with the Hawks defeating the Wildcats 74-58. However, since then, ‘Nova has been on a W crusade against their rival. Villanova’s 86-72 win last year may have been a solid game, but it nearly pales in comparison against 2014’s 74-46 lashing and 2013’s 98-68 Wildcat haul. ‘Nova dominates the series 48-25, and all signs point to 49-25.
For the Hawks, guards Lamarr Kimble and Shaver Newkirk have the foundation to put up major points. Newkirk, averaging an impressive 21.8 points per game, has managed to rack up 20 plus points in four games. Even in St. Joseph’s 78-72 loss to Temple at the start of their Big 5 play, Newkirk put up 22 points.
Alongside him, Kimble is managing 14.6 points per game, and recently set a career high of 26 points during St. Joseph’s defeat against Loyala Chicago in mid-November. The Hawks may have started their Big 5 round with an L, but their propensity for major points and the deep rivalry in this specific game may help keep the scoreboard tight.
For the Wildcats, Phil Booth’s knee tendinitis may prevent him from playing this game. Booth hasn’t taken the court for the Wildcats since their third game at Western Michigan. In Booth’s place, Mikal Bridges has stepped into his starting role and has provided a tenacity for both shotmaking and defense for ‘Nova.
On the subject of defense, Darryl Reynolds 6-foot-9 stature has been a blocking asset for the Wildcats. Reynolds leads the squad in 6.6 rebounds per game, and has been continuing to make forceful, effective moves inside the paint for ‘Nova. No doubt that presence will be highlighted today in minimizing the scoring propensity of the Hawks.